Here is the regimen or routine I follow for my hair.
As my hair grows I adjust my routine to suit the length, what worked at 1 inch will not work the same way at 6 inches. So I am constantly learning from my cotton top.
I don’t claim to be a guru on the matter of natural hair, I’m learning from blogs as are most of you. What I’ve read has helped me develop my routine over the past year. My routine helps make my hair manageable and fairly soft. I sometimes feel the urge to preach to everyone I meet who complains about how tough and wiry their hair is because it doesn’t have to be that way! The kink can easily be tamed with the right routine.
1. Shampoo: once a week
I shampoo my hair about twice or 3 times per wash session depending on how dirty it is (currently using Earthsapp tea tree shampoo). Rinse with warm water and wrap hair with a towel until most of the moisture has been absorbed by the towel so my hair is no longer dripping wet.
2. Deep condition: once a week
After shampooing, I apply a generous helping of a deep conditioner/masque/treatment section by section, twist, then put on a shower cap. I leave the conditioner on for 1 hour maximum, then I rinse with cold water (It reduces frizz and closes the hair cuticles) I sometimes mix the conditioner with a little aloe vera juice which aids in softening my hair. Current favorite products are ORS hair mayo, ORS olive oil treatment, Amla Legend rejuvenating masque and Earthsapp conditioners.
3. Moisturize and seal: Once a week
After I’m done rinsing out the conditioner, I wrap my hair with a towel again and leave it till my hair is 80% dry. I go through my hair section by section applying a little moisturizing hair cream (currently using Shea moisture leave in which was bought in the USA but normally I’d use Kimmaytube’s homemade conditioner) through the hair. I then seal by rubbing either castor oil or my homemade whipped shea butter mix on my ends. I gently detangle my hair by combing through the section with a seamless wide tooth comb. I detangle/comb from tips down to the root of the hair. I do not pull my hair or stress it. I am always gentle with it. After this I do a two strand twist or a french plait then move on to the next section till I complete my whole head.
Note: This is the ONLY time I comb my hair. For the rest of the week I use my fingers to “comb”. Sometimes during the week if my hair for whatever reason becomes dry and tangled I will repeat this process without shampooing and conditioning beforehand. I just dampen the hair with a little water then moisturize and seal as usual.
4. Moisturizing: daily
I add moisture to my hair daily by spraying with my home made spray or my store bought sprays every morning when styling.I like sprays because they aren’t heavy on my hair, leave minimal residue so they won’t leave it feeling greasy therefore they can be used every day. My current favorites are the body shop rainforest spray, Jamaican mango and lime no itch grow spray. The homemade one I make consists of coconut oil, castor oil, olive oil and water (I add aloe juice as well if I can find it in stores)
5. Oiling the scalp: once a week
I apply a olive oil and castor oil mixture to my scalp once a week.
6. Oiling the hairline: daily
I apply a mixture of olive oil and castor oil to my edges every morning after spraying my hair.
7. Hot oil treatment: once a month
Take a mixture of oils, about a quarter cup (or less) and place in a plastic bottle. The types of oils in the mixture depend on what I have available. I place the bottle in hot water to warm up the oils then apply to my hair. I put on a shower cap for 30 minutes then shampoo and condition as usual.
8. Protein treatment: once a month
I mix one egg, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, a tablespoon of oil (usually coconut or olive oil) to some Earthsapp conditioner and apply to my hair after shampooing. I put on a shower cap and leave the mixture on for 30 minutes to an hour then rinse out with cold water. After that I continue the moisturizing, sealing and detangling process as usual.
9. Apple cider vinegar rinse: once a week
After I rinse out my conditioner, I follow it up with an apple cider vinegar rinse. I add a tablespoon of ACV to a cup of water and rinse my hair with the solution ensuring that it reaches my scalp as well. I let it sit for 5 minutes then rinse my hair again with plain water.
10. Trim hair: between 1 and 3 times a year or when necessary
Read this post on trimming for more information.
11. Henna treatment: once every 3 months
I use henna for color and for it’s strengthening properties. Read this post for more information.
Side note: If my hair is braided I wash less often, maybe once every 2 weeks and I take a break from the protein and hot oil treatments. Steps outlined here.
This is what works for me. It may not work for your hair so experiment till you find a routine that suits you. Use mine as an example if you are clueless.